BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Grocery sales, including improvements in the perishables offering, showed gains at Wal-Mart Stores during the second quarter, the company here said yesterday.
Comp-store sales at its Neighborhood Market banner — a traditional supermarket format with about 150 locations — were up 3.8% for the period, despite a 1.5% decline in comp-store sales for Wal-Mart’s U.S. division overall for the 13-week quarter, which ended July 31. Although sales in the U.S. were below expectations, operational discipline helped drive a 5% gain in operating income, to $4.9 billion. Top-line sales for the U.S. division rose 0.3%, to $64.21 billion.
“The strength of our logistics and transportation systems, along with lower fuel prices vs. last year is reflected in the margin improvements,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman.
“I’m also pleased with how the investment in merchandising systems and processes is driving product quality in our fresh areas,” he said. “We have greatly improved the flow of perishables into our stores, which has reduced damaged goods. Further, customers are giving us a lot of credit for improving the quality of our fresh offerings, and their perceptions are validated in our higher sales comps in grocery.”
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